It is currently WINTER in WESTEROS during the year 303 AC. The new moon cycle marks a full twenty years since the Mad King was murdered, and his son King Rhaegar ascended the Iron Throne in his place. Though the year is fresh, war in the Narrow Sea has left the Free Cities of Volantis and Tyrosh in ashes, and the Long Night continues to beckon from the Northern fringes of the Seven Kingdoms. With the Queen Lyanna presumed dead, the citizens of the realms look only to each other for survival.
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Alias: Shelbs
Age: 27
Sworn To: House Tully
Born to: House Bracken
Location: Stone Hedge
Title: Ser Knight
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Joined: 20-December 15
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Last Seen: Yesterday at 11:57 am
Local Time: Jul 17 2018, 11:03 PM
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Mar 19 2018, 12:40 PM
Late, so late, almost too late. The sun had set a number of hours ago, leaving the sky an ugly, bruised purple until even the clouds soaked in the night sky like ink. Supper was served in the great hall and like any other evening, Hendry had retired to his apartments with Lenora, choosing to stay awake with his ale as her maids saw her to bed. The fire clicked and snapped and so he sat, sipping from his flagon as he let the room around him fall into a quiet standstill, dismissing their servants and finding brief repose in the pages of his uncle’s accounts. The south tower of Stone Hedge was in need of repair, and while the builders had been hired, still they waited for the materials to arrive; ironwood from Lord Forrester, and speckled granite from Lord Waynwood in the Vale. These numbers and records, supplies and lists, they were soothing to his busy mind at first, taking a quill to add his own addendums and edits as he saw fit. When his chamber was as dark as the dancing hearth would allow, as quiet as his wife’s sleeping breath would deem suitable, Hendry emptied the last of his ale into the depths of his throat and deftly folded away his leather-wrapped journal. Like most nights after he’d waited for his wife to fall asleep, he would silently leave their apartments in favor for retreating to another’s… and like most nights, Catelyn was the only thing he could think of as he buttoned his doublet.

But that had been hours ago. Hours. Twice over Lenora had stirred from sleep, panicked and confused by her dreams, and only with her maid’s help were they able to put her back to rest. When she roused for the second time, mere moments after Hendry reached for the silver-plated handle of their door, it took all his strength not to groan in frustration. “She must have had a stressful week, my lord,” assured her maid, the one seemingly all too familiar with Lenora’s dysphoria, brushing back his wife’s hair and gently encouraging her to return to her pillows. With a tight jaw Hendry could do nothing but watch as Lenora at last closed her eyes once more, her face illuminated by the glow of the hearth, warming her red cheeks and easing the lines of confusion from her brows. Having not the time nor interest to banter with the handmaiden, it was only after ordering she remain at his wife’s side did he finally turn to take his leave, dipping into the nightly shadows of the corridor and using only memory to navigate his way through the dimly-lit halls.

Reaching Catelyn’s doors took mere minutes, and his hand folded familiarly over the bronzed handle, pushing it quietly open so that his arrival was not too loudly announced. The antechamber, dark and silent, was still filled with the scents and airs of his cousin’s perfumes, and he inhaled a deep breath through his nostrils once the door was closed behind him. Choosing to simply stand there, letting the shadows of her room welcome him with their unseen arms, Hendry listened for any sign of movement beyond the walls. Above the constant sound of his own heartbeat in his ears, he could sense Catelyn within, as if the very fibers of his muscles pulled and tugged him into the direction of her bedchamber. Passing through the open archways, slipping between the lace curtains and stepping into her domicile was like at last being able to exhale a sigh of relief he did not realize he’d been needing. The candles were low, nearly melted to their stubs, and even the hearth was little more than glowing orange coals against the charred stone… but still he felt a smile smooth over his lips when he noticed her there upon her bed, covered by her layers of fur and silk with only the rhythmic sight of her breathing revealing her shape.

As silently as he could muster, Hendry removed himself of his clothes, unbuttoning his doublet and shrugging out of the woven fabric. Pulling his leather boots from his legs and setting them aside, he made quick work of his linen shirt and black-threaded trousers, peeling off his stockings and almost shivering as the cool air kissed his naked torso. Leaving only his thin pair of linen shorts around his waist, Hendry crept to the side of her bed, sheer memory guiding him beneath the coverlets to join the warmth within. With a single arm he slipped it over her, his palm flattening just beneath her breasts and pulling her gently, yet no less deliberately against him. Chest there to meet her back, he folded his body around her, burying his nose into her hair and pressing a kiss against her shoulder. “Sweet girl,” he cooed deeply, his hand wandering to the side of her waist and skimming down the expanse of her thigh, only to turn to make its way back up again. “I hope you are dreaming of me.”
May 30 2017, 12:43 PM
Hendry opened his eyes, exhaling. The day had been but a spinning mess, little more than a blurred mirage of various colors, sounds and smells that, at last, finally came to a dizzying standstill for this very moment before him. He could still feel the memory of fawning hands and prying palms across the spans of his back, the hard shove through the bedchamber doors forcing a grit to his jaw rather than a smile to his lips. Finally inside, the knight was all too aware of the details waiting for him and his new bride; the overly warm and perhaps even noisily burning hearth, the perspiring carafes of water and wine nearby, the carefully peeled back coverlets of fur and silk that lined his bed. Or was it Hendry that felt too warm, even when robbed of his clothing? Was it his own flesh that perspired as he stood there, reflecting the firelight like dew on his tensed muscles? Perhaps it was his own resolve, peeling away to reveal the uncertainty and doubt beneath? It took all of his strength to at last bring his deep mahogany gaze to the woman before him, daring to spy upon the naked curves that now bore the Bracken name. His name.

He was no fool. Lenora was a beautiful woman, and so much different than the only other woman he’d ever known. Where Catelyn was like sunflowers and citrus, Lenora was like honey and nutmeg, and where his beloved cousin was buxom and curvaceous, his new bride was long and slender, almost elegant. Like her lips, he noticed her nipples were a soft shade of dusky rose, puckered even despite the warmth wafting from the crackling hearth. The gentle slope that dipped from her ribs and to her waist glowed in the dancing light of the fire, causing slight shadows against the bones of her pelvis and the untouched crevices of her inner thighs. In truth, the knight had never looked at Lenora before. Her face, yes. Knew the color of her eyes, the shape of her brows, some of the freckles across her nose, but those were all paltry things. Even the few nights where he imagined this very moment were but fleeting memories, poor depictions when compared to the actual woman herself. Hendry realized then and there that he was hardly prepared for this.

“Oi! It’s too quiet in there!” A series of fists upon the door soon followed, the sound akin to the very hammering in the knight’s dark-haired chest. He could hear the laughs of his comrades and his cousin Harry, still sharing in their bawdy jests just outside of the bridal chamber. He wondered, how many ears did they have pressed to the door? How long would it be before they finally deemed themselves satisfied, and turned to leave he and Lenora alone? “Ignore them,” he advised stiffly, forcing himself to relax the tendons of his jaw. The knight fought to recall his resolve, the same stalwart demeanor that had helped him come to at last accept his betrothal to this woman, but he felt bereft of anything he’d ever known since the moment he pinned his cloak to her shoulders. Bereft of Catelyn’s familiar, safe touch. Bereft of his cousin Harry’s encouragement. Bereft of his uncle’s guidance, and bereft even of the comforting weight of his axe. In this moment, and for the rest of the night, he had only Lenora. And he did not know what to do.

Was he shaking? He took a breath the same moment he took a step, edging towards her with all the hesitance of a soldier afraid of an ambush, or a hunter afraid to spook its most prized target. She seemed so… small, smaller than he remembered, without the layers of her gowns or the height of her heeled shoes. Reaching out, he found his entire palm could enclose around the jut of her pelvis, and with a gentle pull inwards, Hendry coaxed her towards him. “Just me,” he continued, still ignoring the well-heard chuckles and muffled voices of those outside their doors. A brief part of him had to be thankful that he never had to suffer the company of others when he first took Catelyn’s maidenhead. Letting his hand slide from the edge of her hip around to the small of her lower back, Hendry lowered his nose to her ear, inhaling softly all of the aromas and scents he had come to know about her. “Are you ready?”
Apr 23 2017, 08:17 PM
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<div class="mychest">BARBARA BRACKEN</div>
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Here lies Hendry's biggest fan, and ironically his greatest annoyance. Having spent much of her life believing she would end up as his wife and future Lady of Stone Hedge, still, Barbara's efforts in winning Hendry's affection have been all for naught. Ever since she was a girl she has always endeavored to be at his side, attaching herself to his hip and having the slightest idea on where boundaries could possibly be. When he was ill, she was the first to take over his care, and when he was injured, she was always there to assist him to the maester and likely fretted over him more than anyone else in the castle. One could argue she dreamed more of inheriting her father's seat, knowing Lord Jonos would name Hendry his heir... but even despite Barbara's barbed tongue, she seems to soften completely for her father's nephew.
Unfortunately, the two are so unalike that even as a boy, Hendry knew he could never tolerate her as a wife. She is abrasive and commanding, where he prefers to reserve his thoughts and his words for when they may truly make a difference. Seen as enigmatic and even mysterious to some, it is Barbara who leaves little to the imagination, demanding the spotlight while he takes solace in the fringes of a crowd. It is his nature to keep others at arm's length, and hardly any closer, which no doubt frustrated Barbara as she vied for his affection. Though she is of course beautiful and alluring, the knife that is her tongue is only one of the many things that have brought him to refusing Lord Jonos' offer for her hand... over and over again. (Suppose that it helped that he was has always been secretly preoccupied with Barbara's younger sister Catelyn...) Regardless, Hendry does feel protective over her.
In the wake of Hendry's betrothal to Lenora Lychester, one could say Barbara was livid. She knew he did not wish for the match to Lenora, and in one fell swoop she lost not only the man of her desires, but also Stone Hedge and all that would have come with ruling as its Lady. To make matters worse, her father soon decided to have her betrothed to none other than her House's sworn and ancient enemy, House Blackwood. Slated to be wife of Brynden Blackwood and future Lady of Raventree, she could not imagine having to leave her home, much less Hendry to his Lychester lamb of a wife. It was when Lord Blackwood broke the betrothal in favor of another did she feel yet another insult, robbed of yet a second future. Enraged with old wounds renewed, her father Lord Jonos managed to broker an even better match, sealing Barbara's hand to none other than the bachelor Edmure Tully of Riverrun. Now, soon to rule the whole of the Riverlands itself, one could say she is swiftly losing sight of Hendry and all that she once wanted.
... Or is she?
<div class="mychest2">21. Raina Hein.</div>

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<div class="mychest">HARRY RIVERS</div>
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The Bastard of Bracken, Harry is Hendry's cousin, closest confidant, friend and comrade. When Hendry was first brought to Stone Hedge as a young child, Harry was the only other boy in the entire castle, so naturally the two forged a fast bond. They shared maesters and septons, master-at-arms and even the scorn of Lady Bracken - who produced five daughters for her husband and not a single son. So with Jonos showering his love on his nephew and bastard son, they were never truly on his wife's best of sides, but as they grew older and as they came to learn to manage Stone Hedge (not to mention they are fierce protectors of all the Bracken girls,) she's slowly starting to appreciate them.
With Hendry standing as the presumptive heir to Stone Hedge (with Barbara freshly betrothed and Hendry matched to the Lychester girl,) Harry will be his greatest supporter. He knows the castle and its township as well as anyone, and though the man is a little soft around the edges (his father spoiled him as a young lad,) Hendry deeply trusts him. Though cousins, they are certainly more like brothers, from fighting at each others' sides to sometimes even going after each others' own throats.
<div class="mychest2">29. BENJAMIN EIDEM.</div>
<div style="text-align: right; font-size: 6px; width: 480px; letter-spacing: 1px;"><a href="">&hearts; ARTIE ABRAMS.</a></div>

Dec 11 2016, 01:46 PM
"Harry, you fool," the heavy chamber door closed behind him, the surprising warmth of the rooms quickly saturating through Hendry's layers of leather, wool and fur. The parlor's hearth was burning brightly, and so too was the hearth in the adjoining solar, and lastly, the one in his cousin's bedchamber. He had half a mind to smother all of them. "You cannot be burning so much wood this early in winter, are you daft?" Jonos' only son, free of the heavy fur mantels like Hendry, only scoffed. He was no friend to the recent cold snaps blanketing the region. "It will only be a short while before these rooms are cold again," Harry replied, clearly comfortable in the warmth afforded to him. Hendry could not help but think of even their servants who did not get to enjoy such things. "Before you or father have the damned logs rationed." Something flashed in Hendry's dark eyes, almost something akin to a smirk that did not show across his lips. It was a sound idea, and one he would likely now press Lord Jonos much sooner than soft Harry wished. For now, however, the amount of wood his cousin stuffed into his hearths was not at the forefront of his worries.

"Later, Harry," he gestured dismissively, sighing, "I only came to ask about the horse." A brief moment of quiet passed between them, but his cousin's agreeing nod comforted the taller knight in some unnameable spot within. "Ser Rymand delivered her last night, as promised. I had the stableboys brush her until she shone." Though the news was a relief, Hendry sighed once more. "She still blames Barbara and Jayne, you know," he mentioned deeply, showing a brief frown that his cousin mirrored with a roll of his eyes. "It is just a damned horse. I am surprised you cared enough to find her another so soon." The knight paid his cousin a wayward glance, already turning to take his leave. "I care more about the mood she has been in. The girl is bluer by the day. Even Jonos has begun to notice." And his overbearing uncle was, by all accounts, much more of a nuisance than a depressed betrothed. He did not have the strength to deal with the both of them at once, and if a replacement horse would brighten Lenora's spirits, then he supposed the benefit would be to all within Stone Hedge. What is the saying? He thought to himself, leaving his cousin's apartments before the heat became stifling. A happy wife, means a happy life?

It did not take long to find her. Wearing a smile as he approached, already offering her his arm, Hendry bowed his head. "I have something I want to show you, my lady," he finally said, dark brown eyes dancing over her in appraisal. There was a frown that had taken its root across her mouth since losing her horse in the woods, since she'd taken that fall and slowly recovered from her injuries only to be told her mount would likely not be returned. He hoped, as he led her out into the cold air and took her across the courtyards, that it would finally ease the sad lines he saw in the corners of her mouth whenever they sat together for supper at night. "I know Stone Hedge grows only colder, but I hope this may bring you some warmth." At last, once journeying through the iron gates of the stables, a freshly saddled palomino mare stood in the midst of the courtyards, accepting a small treat from the flattened palm of the boy who held her. Even the leather tack shone with newness, almost gleaming in the grey overcast, and as they approached, the golden mare turned her fine head to espy them. Her smooth white forelock careened down the center of her face, falling to one side of her velvety muzzle that Hendry had to commend Ser Rymand once more for his apt in breeding these creatures. His own beast had come from the man's selections, and the steed remained his finest mount. He hoped the same in this mare for Lenora.

"I asked that she not come with a name," he brought his betrothed closer to the new horse, smiling as he looked from mare to woman and back again. "But she is yours, if it would please you." With his free hand he reached out to the creature's neck, stroking it once, twice against his gloved fingers. Even he could feel how soft its coat was, even slightly overgrown as it was for winter. Drawing his eyes to his betrothed, at last drinking in the flickering and fleeting emotions across her face, Hendry could not help but want to gravitate somewhat closer to her. "Well, my lady?" He asked with a soft smile, a palm floating up to rest at the hollow of her back. "What do you think of her?"

Aug 20 2016, 10:59 PM
Hendry had crushed the parchment in his hands as soon as his dark eyes had finished glancing over the script within. The yellowed paper crumpled and crinkled into a small ball, soon tossed into the open flame of the hearth as the knight stomped past it. Harry had advised him not to tell Lord Jonos, of course, but Hendry had every intention to tell his uncle just how wrong he was about the Lady Lenora. A slithering snake, he seethed, angry and feeling stabbed with betrayal. His betrothed had fooled him, trekking the short journey to Raventree where his very own enemies sat in their ugly, twisted roost, its walls no doubt caked with bird droppings. His fists clenched. And he was supposed to make her into a Bracken? A woman who continued to foster relationships with the very adversaries of his House? When he'd told Catelyn, his cousin tilted her head back and laughed, exposing to him her slender throat and making him forget the headaches caused by the Lychester girl.

The night had ended without him telling Lord Jonos the whereabouts of his betrothed. He slept with the scent of Catelyn still on him, and woke with a fierce hunger that only a great meal had been able to sate. Harry was expected back with Lenora later in the afternoon, and he was certain he would be the first to meet them before they arrived. He even considered saddling his horse and riding out to intercept them on the roads, knowing he would be unable to feign pleasantries in front of his family members until he faced her himself. The bloody Blackwoods, he seethed once more, finishing his morning meal and departing the great hall with little more than a lingering glance from Catelyn. Though hours passed, Hendry still had little idea on which course of action he planned to take. What could he do? Bring her before his uncle, and denounce her in front of him? Write to the Blackwoods, and demand they cease contact with her? Threaten Raventree itself? Even as he journeyed to the stables and ordered his bay courser be saddled, he still did not know what he should do. He just knew his anger and his sense of betrayal guided each of his movements, swinging a long and muscular leg over the back of his horse and securing his boots in the metal stirrups.

His jaw remained tense every stride his horse made through the town that surrounded Stone Hedge. Some simple common folk waved to him, recognizing the liveries that decorated his courser, while others quickly took note to flee from his path. Lord Jonos was loved by some, and even Harry, who frequented the town's brothels, was well-known amongst the populace... but others had no doubt fallen on the wrong side of many of Jonos' edicts and policies, and Hendry did what he could to keep a weary eye on them without paying too much interest. He did not care for such petty things now, but he made sure his axe remained securely fastened to the back of his shoulders as he rode past. Once putting the sounds and smells of the town behind him, Hendry mulled over all the words he could say to her, all the things he could speak that might very well seal her fate completely. This no doubt should be under the bailiwick of his uncle, leaving such qualms in the knowing hands of his wiser liege, but the knight could not see it done that way. He felt almost possessive of the girl, and the slight she'd just made against him was his own to handle. Hendry just prayed he would not mishandle it.

It was not long before he spied them in the distance. Harry and Lenora, tailed by two knights from Stone Hedge, the sight was unmistakable even from afar. The knight reined up his horse, the beast tossing its head in protest as it came to a forced halt along the side of the dirt and gravel road. Should he ride to them, or wait until they reached him themselves? Deciding on the latter, Hendry settled in his leather seat, allowing his horse its head so that he could graze on the long grasses that lined the road. Though his gaze flickered from his cousin to his betrothed as they neared, they fastened onto Lenora with such a finality that even as they came to a halt in front of him, his dark eyes did not waver from her face. "My lady." The greeting was stiff and he did not even dip his chin in kindness, barely sparing Harry the briefest of glances. His horse snorted beneath him. "I trust you enjoyed your time away?" Tensing his jaw, he pulled in a forced breath. "I will escort the Lady Lenora from here, cousin," he instructed, gesturing that Harry keep riding. "Tell Lord and Lady Bracken to expect us shortly."
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